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Page 10 November 3, 2010

‘Nobodies’ pack the house at Lyman with laughs

Sean Meenaghan

“You have one shot to nail it. If you (Expletive) when it’s taped you can re-edit it. To keep the flow going I just repeat the line and they can take the best line The Nobodies of Comedy finished the month and edit the others out.” of October on a hilarious note. The night featured Colin Wilhelmy, a freshman majoring in biolunfamiliar comics Erick James, Mike Vecchione, ogy said Vecchione was the funniest. Joe Devito and Nore Davis whose jokes had the “I liked the second guy,” Wilhelmy said. “I didn’t entire audience wanting more. know he would be interacting with the audience.” James got a BS in Mechanical Engineering Wilhelmy said he hasn’t previously gone to any and received a graduate diploma in Management other events at the Lyman Center but said he will go Studies; it is hard to believe that someone with to more since watching this performance. that background would make their career being a Devito, who attended Fairfield University, said professional comedian. his friends got him interested in comedy. James said comedy was always something he “I had a regular job,” Devito said. “My cothought of doing. workers were goofing around and said I should do “After grad school I was working in college,” stand up. There was a local class, I survived the James said. “I dreamt about it, there was a local stand up so I said I’ll do it.” stand up club in Albany, I took it and loved it ever Devito, who has strikingly similar features to since.” that of the “Verizon guy” said he couldn’t even go James, who was also the host for the night, into Best Buy anymore because everyone thinks he started off by complimenting SCSU on how good works there. the library looks. Devito appeared on “The Late Late show with For the remainder of James’ time, he told Craig Ferguson” and is currently an active contribujokes that ranged from having A.D.D. to problems tor to the round table show, “Red Eye,” on Fox News, he has with his girlfriend. said he prefers doing stand up without a camera. James said performing in front of colleges “When you’re in front of a camera you don’t brings a new vibe to his comedy. have much time,” Devito said. “It has to be super “You have to joke about Facebook,” James tight. Your best stuff happens when your in a groove. said. “The people bring a good energy, they are When you’re on camera you have to stick out every Sean Meenaghan| General Assignment Reporter excited you are there.” syllable.” Vecchione, who started his career after col- From left: Mike Vecchione, Erick James, Joe Devito and Nore Davis pose before Tuesday night’s show. Davis came out on to the stage with a bolt of lege as a teacher said comedy came into his life by energy; combining his Yonkers, New York slang accident. with his original jokes he kept the crowd entertained. “I was bored during the week, I didn’t have any- Vecchione said, “to practice to be a rapper.” Vecchione, who appeared on “The Tonight Quips that ranged from going into bankruptcy bething to do,” Vecchione said. “There was an open Driving into Connecticut from New York, Vec- Show with Jay Leno” and has a special on Comedy cause of college to watching his girlfriend jump into mic club.” chione couldn’t help but voice his dislike for the Central coming out in January said doing stand a pool and go from looking like Beyonce to Fredrick Vecchione, born in Youngstown, Ohio, related Merritt Parkway. up live compared to doing it in front of a camera a lot of his comedy to his early childhood. Vecchione said the parkway should have less changes everything. “I went to the shooting range when I was ten,” lanes and more construction. “Your nerves are more up,” Vecchione said. See COMEDY page 10 General Assignment Reporter

Dancing to an old ‘Thriller’

Catherine Groux | Photo Editor

Students danced to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’

Steven Taliaferro

Staff Writer

Students from Southern danced, leaped and swayed like zombies as instructor Amanda Meador taught them every move from the 1983 Michael Jackson music video. Last week, in celebration of Halloween, Programs Council and the Fitness Center held their Second Annual Thriller Dance Class in the Student Center Ballroom. Meador, a sophomore anthropology major, said the class is a good way of representing and attributing the late Michael Jackson and is fun for Halloween. “It’s just a great dance and it’s so much fun to know,” she said, “because then you can be the person at Halloween who, when the Thriller song comes on, knows the dance.” Meador said the best part of teaching the Thriller dance class was when the class had reached its end. “At the end of it, when everybody knows the dance and we all do it together,” she said,

“everybody’s having fun and we all look awesome doing it.” Jessica Scibek, the assistant director of the SCSU Student Center and Fitness Center coordinator, worked with the ProCon to put together the dance class. She said Hilary Schaffer, a second year graduate intern, originally came up with the idea of teaching the dance steps here at Southern. “She had seen Thriller done at other universities, so last year, right before Halloween, we did something fun, kind of an exercise in disguise,” said Scibek. Scibek said last year’s class was a success. “It went really well so we wanted to do it again and kind of make it an annual event so people can learn it right before the Halloween dances and show their moves off,” said Scibek. Scibek said the dance class is a good way to get students to exercise. “Some people forget that dance can be fun and a way to be active without just sitting in the gym on a machine,” said Scibek. “You have a lot more fun, maybe work a little bit harder, exercise can be a social thing and when Hilary brought the idea of doing Thriller we just thought we’d make a big event out of it and give the students something fun to do on campus.” Crystal Reid, a senior communications major was one of the students who attended the class and had a fun time taking it, she said. “It was tough, but I really liked it, it was a lot of fun,” said Reid. “It took a lot of energy, it was more than I thought it would be, I thought it was going to be a lot easier but the techniques were a lot harder than I thought.” Reid said despite the class’s level of difficulty, she was there for one reason: she wanted to learn Michael’s dance. “I always looked at the Thriller,” she said, “I always taped it and then try to do the moves but I could never figure it out so I really wanted to learn it.”

Professor sings in romance

Monica Szakacs Staff Writer

Growing up with a natural talent for singing, Luisa Piemontese, professor of Spanish, doubted herself and never sang in public, even when close friends would compliment her singing voice and tell her she should perform. “I always have been shy about my singing,” said Piemontese. “I think it’s something very private of mine. It’s kind of a release for me so I sing when I wash the dishes, I sing when I clean the house, I sing when I’m on the road.” At a difficult time in her life, when she became a single mother, Piemontese said she went through moments of silence, where she could not even sing to release her emotions. When she did not sing while cleaning, she said her two sons, Julian and Adrian, noticed something was wrong with their mother. “The transition to becoming a single mom Photo courtesy | luisa piemontese impacted me and impacted my kids and the time of silence was me thinking through things,” said Luisa Piemontese sings in five different languages. Piemontese, “but then again there were some moments of solitude and silence that turned into singing, because the songs are what kept me company.” he said to me, ‘You have a really nice voice,’” said Piemontese said her father recently passed away. Piemontese. “Now, each time I sing I am closer to She said growing up she was always shy singing in him. I think I am singing to him and that is also a front of him, because he was a very critical man very, very special part of why I sing.” with her and singing was so special to her. Piemontese said she can sing in Italian, Spanish, “Not that he ever told me you don’t sing well, it French, Portuguese and English, and when she came was just in my head,” said Piemontese. to this country at 12 years old from Italy, she studied The last Christmas with her father a couple Spanish. According to Piemontese, she received her years ago, she remembered him being very ill, and BA in Language and Culture with a focus on Latin he was trying to sleep because he was in a lot of pain. American literature, and a minor in French and She said she was wrapping presents in her room Pedagogy with teaching at SUNY Purchase State while listing to music, and she did not realize that University of New York. In Yale Graduate School, she was singing along out loud. The next morning, according to the Southern Faculty website, she rewhich was Christmas, said Piemontese, she received ceived a masters in philosophy and a doctorate in words from her father that changed her life. medieval Spanish literature. She was offered a schol“He said to me, ‘Luisa I have to tell you this — arship at Yale, said Piemontese, if she took a year of last night I had a dream that there was an angel and I realized that it was you and you were singing,’ and See PIEMONTESE page 10

Lorraine Warren spooks Southern with ghost stories

Siobhan Murray

Staff Writer

Ghost hunter Lorraine Warren spooked and thrilled students of Southern with a multimedia presentation and lecture about her encounters with ghosts, demons and spirits this past Friday at the Lyman Center. Warren, with her son-in-law and fellow ghost hunter, Tony Spera, detailed Connecticut’s rich history of haunting and worldwide spiritual experiences to a crowd of over 500 people. The audience was a diverse crowd of Southern students and members of the public of all ages. Many people came to be thrilled by Warren’s photographic and video evidence of the supernatural, while others came out of fascination for Warren’s clairvoyant skills. When Warren asked the audience how many of them believed in spirits or ghosts, the majority of the audience raised their hands. Southern student Heather Evarts was the

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Southern News contest winner, and had dinner with Lorraine Warren before the show. Evarts saw Warren present two years ago, and was eager to have the chance to meet and talk with her. “I have always been fascinated by ghosts and the things you can’t explain, and I am amazed at how Warren can connect her spiritual beliefs to her work,” said Evarts. Warren has recently been featured in the show “Paranormal State” on the A&E channel, and has appeared on the Discovery channel series, “A Haunting.” New Line Cinema is currently working on a adaptation of her investigation of a haunted barn in a film to be titled “The Conjuring.” From a young age, Warren knew that she possessed clairvoyant skills when she could read peoples’ auras and glean personal information about complete strangers just from being in their presence. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that she embraced her skills, and used her talents to assist people tormented by spirits. According to the Warrens’ website, they have investigated over 10,000 hauntings.

The Warrens were heavily sought after by people seeking relief from ghosts or spirits. To vanquish ghosts from a property, Lorraine would try to communicate with the spirits. The Warrens have also worked with priests to perform blessings and even exorcisms at haunted locations. During her lecture, Warren said they never charged for their services from people being disturbed by ghosts and they would only seek reimbursement for their travel expenses. Warren also said that her purpose in life is to help other people, and at 84 years old, she admits that she will probably never retire. The audience was treated to ghost hunter insider information about how to take spirit photos and even the locations of secluded haunted locations in Connecticut. Warren admits that she never envisioned having a career as a trance-medium and supernatural investigator, but her husband Ed Warren’s fascination with haunted houses is what began her lengthy career.

Ed Warren grew up in a haunted home and began painting haunted houses as a hobby, and before the Warrens knew it they were investigating haunted locations across the country. They became well known for their investigations into the Amityville haunting case in New York, a case that most of the audience were familiar with, but were visibly shocked by her photographs depicting ghostly children apparitions. Jillian Tobin, a senior, said she was surprised by how much she enjoyed the show. “I came here thinking that it wasn’t going to be that great, but I found the pictures and stories very fascinating and I would definitely see Lorraine Warren again,” said Tobin. Warren resides in Monroe, CT where she has an occult museum featuring a possessed doll and satanic headstones among a large selection of peculiar artifacts. Warren traveled straight to Southern from Tennessee, and said that presenting at Southern “is similar to the warmth of being with family.”

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Nobodies' pack the house at Lyman with laughs  
Nobodies' pack the house at Lyman with laughs  

Arts & Entertainment story I wrote on the "nobodies of comedy."